Bobmore Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1JE
Telephone - 01628 483 752
Company Registration No.07690054


French, the eleventh most widely spoken language in the world, boasts 128 million speakers worldwide according to the United Nations.

La Francophonie, or the French speaking world, is not only France but at least 40 other countries worldwide including Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec in Canada, more than 15 African countries, and the French Caribbean.

According to the European Union, French is the third most widely known language in Europe after English and German. French is also an official language of the United Nations and a large number of international organisations; it is used as an official language of the European Union.

Learning French offers a gateway to communicating with people across the world. In fact, as a romance language, French can open the door to communication with many millions of other people who speak one of the other romance languages.

Language acquisition requires special skills that, once learned, can be used to become fluent in other languages relatively quickly due to the similarities in grammar structure and vocabulary. Understanding a language means understanding culturally enriching aspects of different societies. In order to stay competitive in today’s world, it is imperative that students learn the culture and language of other countries, especially France, which is so close geographically to the UK.


French is a popular subject at Great Marlow School with a consistent number of students opting to continue studying it at GCSE every year. We have five dedicated language classrooms each equipped with a PC, a projector and access to a suite of laptops. The aim of the languages department is to facilitate a lifetime love of exploring language, culture and an appreciation of its importance in our multicultural world.



The Wider Curriculum allows students to take a further interest in their subjects and subject related material they study at school. The Wider Curriculum also enables parents and carers to actively engage with the opportunities offered by each department. Each PDF is hyperlinked, so when you click on them, the links will take you to areas where you may read, view, listen, visit and be creative.



Students study a broad set of topics in Key Stage 3 covering the four language skills (listening, reading, speaking, writing) and many key grammar points including the present, past and future tenses.

In Year 7, students study either French or Spanish.

Throughout KS3 there is an assessment every half term in one of the following key areas: listening, reading, speaking or writing. The assessments are miniature versions of the examinations that students sit at GCSE. This strategy provides them with the practice at key skills required at KS4, as well as promoting independent learning.

Year 7 French 

Language is taught in chunks using sentence builders via the Conti EPI approach, which helps with fluency and long-term memory recall. In the first year, students are expected to practise and perfect the understanding of the present tense, while recognising the future tense. There is a focus placed on pronunciation, which is often practised in exciting ways using songs and chants.

Under the six topic headings below, students begin to build a confidence in speaking, reading, listening  and writing in French.

  • Introducing Ourselves
  • About Me
  • Family
  • Free-time Activities
  • Technology
  • School

Year 8 French 

Students use the EXPO 2 Rouge textbook. The aim of the course is to expand students’ knowledge of the present tense and introduce them to the past tense. Again, this is practised in a variety of ways, including the interactive resources that GMS has at its disposal.

Six topics are studied in the second year of French. They represent a different set of scenarios to the first year, allowing students to expand their knowledge and understanding of how to speak, read, listen and write in French.

  • Family and at Home
  • Free Time
  • Going Out
  • Food and Drink
  • Travelling and Holidays
  • Friends

Year 9 French 

Students use the “EXPO 3 Rouge or Vert” textbook. This course expands their cultural knowledge, aiming to generate an appreciation of the ways learning a language, in particular French, is useful as a life skill. Students focus on using and understanding all three tenses, past, present and future, in all four language skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing in French.

Each of the six topics below has an assessment at the end of the module in one of the following skills: listening, reading, writing or speaking.

  • Media
  • Future Plans
  • Healthy Living
  • Childhood
  • Tourism
  • The Rights of Young People


GCSE AQA 8658   

Introduction: AQA, French GCSE is designed to develop a confidence in speaking, reading, writing and understanding of the French language in a variety of contexts. Candidates will gain an understanding of the culture and communities where French is spoken, so they can understand the unique place French has in our multi-lingual global society.

Students benefit from learning a modern foreign language because it improves their critical thinking, research and creativity skills. Knowledge and understanding of a foreign language to GCSE is highly valued by employers and universities because learning a language is an important life skill.

There are three themes or topics.

Theme 1: Identity and Culture

Friends, family and me. Technology in everyday life. Free time activities. Customs and festivals in French speaking countries and communities.

Theme 2: Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest.

Home, neighbourhood, local town and region. Social issues and global issues. Travel and tourism.

Theme 3: Current and Future Study. Employment.

My studies. Life at school. Education post-16. Jobs, career choices and ambitions.

       The course has four assessment units:

    • Listening – candidates are faced with a series of multiple-choice questions, some answers are given in French, some in English.
    • Speaking – students are given preparation time to respond to a stimulus involving one of the following: role-play card, photograph, or article to stimulate a topical conversation.
    • Reading – candidates have to answer multiple-choice questions. Some answers are in French, some in English. There is also a short translation to do.
    • Writing – candidates are required to write phrases in response to a photograph, or create a piece of structured writing from a set of bullet points. In addition, they have to translate a written English text into French.


This is a two year linear qualification, all examinations are at the end of the course.

There are two tiers of entry for each of the four units. Each unit is worth 25% of the total mark.  Students will be entered for the tier in which they feel most comfortable.

Internal Assessments

Throughout the course, students are internally assessed every half term in at least two of the examined areas: writing, listening, reading and speaking.


A-level French

This is a linear two year qualification: all examinations are at the end of the course.

A-level French requires candidates to be independent in their approach to their studies. It is essential that outside the classroom the language, culture and society of French speaking places are researched. Confidence in manipulating the French language in a creative way is important to success.  Students should have achieved at least a Grade B at GCSE  French to progress to A-level 

Core content

  1. Social Issues and Trends

Topics include: the changing nature of family life; cyber-society; the place of voluntary work; positive features of a diverse society; life for the marginalised; how criminals are treated.

  1. Political and Artistic Culture

Topics include: French heritage; Francophone music; cinema; young people and the right to vote; political commitment; demonstrations and strikes; politics and immigration.

  1. Grammar

The grammatical system and structure of the French language.

  1. Works: Literary Texts and Films

Either one text and one film, or two texts from the prescribed list.


Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing Examination is two hours 30 minutes long. It is worth 40% of the total A-level examination.

Paper 2: Writing Examination is two hours long. This examination is worth 30% of the total A-level examination.

Paper 3: Speaking Examination. The speaking part of the examination is 20 minutes long and includes time for preparation. This section of the examination is worth 30% of the total examination mark.




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